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Doctor insights on: Why Does Hiv Cause Such A Devastating Infection To The Immune System

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Why does HIV cause such a devastating infection to the immune system?

Why does HIV cause such a devastating infection to the immune system?

Good question: Because the target of its growth and impairment are elements of our immune system. If you can figure out why and exactly how it does this and evades our immunity you may become very famous and wealthy. ...Read more

Dr. Julie Abbott
16 doctors shared insights

Hiv (Definition)

Hiv infection is caused by a retrovirus....This retrovirus binds to CD4 cells (for the most part). You may detect the virus by several different methods. An elisa test (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay). You may also detect it by doing a test referred to as a western blot (a gel protein electrophoresis). Thirdly by pcr (polymerase chain reaction) which ...Read more


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If you have a auto immune disease such as sjogrens, does that mean your immune system is suppressed? Effecting your body ability to fight off cancer?

If you have a auto immune disease such as sjogrens, does that mean your immune system is suppressed? Effecting your body ability to fight off cancer?

Disordered immunity: The problem in most autoimmune disorders is not immune suppression, but immune confusion. Instead of just fighting invading organisms, your immune system also attacks your normal tissues, and this immune response is what causes inflammation and symptoms of the disease. With prolonged chronic immune stimulation, some of the cells may begin to reproduce uncontrollably, causing cancers like lymphoma. ...Read more

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Is it possible the immune system can cause an autoimmune attack with t cells nk killer cells without causing antibodies and what diseases can they be?

Yes: An example would be coombs negative hemolytic anemia in a patient with large granular lymphocytosis. Very detailed question so if you need more information probably need a long appointment with your doc. ...Read more

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Does the eye, if exposed to viruses/bacteria/cancer fluids, have any protective mechanisms? Like the way one's immune system attacks viruses in blood?

Does the eye, if exposed to viruses/bacteria/cancer fluids, have any protective mechanisms? Like the way one's immune system attacks viruses in blood?

Yes: Tear has enzymes and antibody (iga class primarily) .Lysozymes etc to act against invaders. The constant flushing from tear flow also helps cleanse the eye surface. ...Read more

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Why is a person with autoimmune more susceptible to the common cold? An overactive immune system should fight it off?

Why is a person with autoimmune more susceptible to the common cold?  An overactive immune system should fight it off?

Good question: Ironically people with autoimmune diseases have an immune system that is reved up against normal parts of the body yet also is not efficient at fighting infections such as viruses that cause the common cold. Also many patients are on medications that suppress the normal immune response to infections such as prednisone, methotrexate, enbrel, humira, or remicade (infliximab). ...Read more

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What does it mean to have a suppressed immune system? e.g the immune system was suppressed by Prednisone? Does it mean that you have to avoid people?

What does it mean to have a suppressed immune system?  e.g the immune system was suppressed by Prednisone? Does it mean that you have to avoid people?

Prednisone: Prednisone does suppress the Immune system. However it depends on how much and for how long. As a rule within 2 to 4 weeks your immune system should bounce back to normal. People on prednisone or recovering from being on prednisone usually do no have to avoid people. ...Read more

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Can it be possible to have an immune system against salmonella?

Can it be possible to have an immune system against salmonella?

Antibodies?: You can get an antibody assay against nearly all known viruses and bacteria. However Samonella infection mostly affects the surface of the intestinal tract and thus the presence of protective antibody in the blood may not be that meaningful. ...Read more

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What could the immune system produce that attaches itself to a pathogen and marks the pathogen for death?

What could the immune system produce that attaches itself to a pathogen and marks the pathogen for death?

Few dif. things: Antibodies are proteins made by certain immune cells that seek out and bind to pathogens. Once bound, antibodies can activate other proteins in your blood called complement, which can poke holes in the bug and kill it. Sometimes, complement can bind to the bug on its own. If the bug survives that, both antibody and complement can act as handholds for immune cells to grab onto the bug and eat it. ...Read more

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Can certain cells of the immune system attack without causing auto antibodies but still cause an autoimmune disease and what cells can do this?

Can certain cells of the immune system attack  without causing auto antibodies but still cause an autoimmune disease and what cells can do this?

Yes!: Natural killer cells and t cells are just 2 examples of "cell mediated immunity", that do not require antibodies for activation, but usually cytokines and other mediators stimulate ; magnify the immune response. The target organs effected often provide clues as to which processes may be activated and can often leave diagnostic trails that can be tested. Consult a specialist for the organ involved. ...Read more

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How does the immune system work when it encounters a type of virus/bacteria?

How does the immune system work when it encounters a type of virus/bacteria?

Broad question: The immune system tailors it's response to various viruses and to various bacteria in several different ways that can be quite complex depending on how far you want to drill down. Some viruses are destroyed by specialized cytotoxic cells that kill the infected host cell thereby reducing viral replication. Some bacteria are lysed by a combination of antibodies and other blood components. ...Read more

Dr. Katharine Cox
9 doctors shared insights

Infection (Definition)

Infections are invasions of some other organism (fungus, bacteria, parasite) or viruses into places where they do not belong. For instance, we have normal gut bacteria that live within us without causing problems; however, when those penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, ...Read more


Dr. Ed Friedlander
1,461 doctors shared insights

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (Definition)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lentivirus (a member of the retrovirus family) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids), [1][2] a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections ...Read more